August 4th, 2012: Paths of Glory (1957)

Cast and Crew:   Jim Thompson and Stanley Kubrick (Screenplay); Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready, Richard Anderson, Joe Turkel, Timothy Carey

What It’s About: In 1916, the Western Front has become a stagnate line of trenches in which thousands of men die for advances of yards.  When an attack, doomed from the start, fails, the command orders three men executed for cowardice as an example.  Their commander, Col. Dax (Kirk Douglas), wins the right to defend them, but is the trial simply a formality?

Why Watch it Today?:  The German Army entered neutral Belgium today in 1914, bringing England into alliance with Russia and France in the conflict against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Today’s still harrowing movie set during the conflict comes from director Stanley Kubrick and was banned in France until 1975 for its unflattering portrayal of the French military.

Other Choices:   The Big Parade

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